Why Are They Demonstrating on Wall Street?

October 12, 2011

For the past three weeks demonstrators have taken signs, cameras and blow horns to march on Wall Street and other venues across the nation.   As we watch the evening news reports or read articles from the major news sources it appears as though there is no real structure to this demonstration.  So, Why are they demonstrating on Wall Street?

At first glance those in the crowd with their signs are saying Wall Street caused all this unemployment, caused the housing market to crumble and caused families all across the nation to loss their lives savings.  Wall Street executives are really bad people because common everyday American’s are suffering.  So they march with signs from SEIU, WE THE PEOPLE, Change the World and a host of thousands more to express their discontent with the greed that crushed America.

We believe there is a reason to march on Wall Street however our spin is not that of those stomping the ground in front of Bank of America or any place else.  We at Patriot Express Radio believe in the capitalist society that creates jobs through innovation, hard work and a vision for the future. Anyone can succeed in America if they do not become overburdened with taxes, regulations or bureaucracies that insist you can not accomplish what it is you set out to do.

Here is the real problem as we see it.  Let’s travel back in time to a place that was so much simpler, back in time before cell phones, Apple and Microsoft.  Back to the 60’s when  the boss or President of an organization got up every morning and headed to work to make an honest living for his/her family.  Those individuals may have been owners or the company or they could have been hired to run the company but they were there to produce results that earned everyone money at the end of the day, week, year and if the times were really good everyone in the organization would receive a bonus around Christmas time. Do you remember those days?

During the 1960’s the average salary for working class American’s was $8,363.42 calculated with figures from the BLS. Those who were able to obtain the title of CEO or President of  large companies in 1965 made a staggering 24 times the average salary of the lowest paid employee according to a report by Lawrence Mishel for the Economic Policy Institute dated June 21, 2006.

Throughout the past 50 years we have seen the disparity grow as CEO’s pay increased 100,200, 300, 400 and more times what the lowest paid employee made while those employed wages only increased  2-7% over the same period or time. If you get your calculator out input your current yearly wage multiplied by 250 (the happy medium to CEO’s 400X plus increase) what would you be making?  We understand the CEO or President  of any business negotiate their benefit package according to their wants and desires.  If those in charge of hiring offer or except the package so be it, capitalism working as it should.  However when those salaries impact the decision-making and the wages of those bottom tier employee’s the repercussions are sever.  This is what the protesters should be asking or demonstration, the disparity of  abilities to pay for product.

When you walk down the aisles of a grocery store to spend some of those hard earned dollars you worked for last week you have to price shop to get more bang for your buck as times are hard with a full fledged depression looming only months away. Pick up a box of Cheerios which cost $4.56 today or a 22 ounce box. Personally I cringe every time I go to the grocery store when I look at the prices. Of that $4.56 how much of that expense we pay goes to Kendall J. Powell’s benefits of over 12 million,  Roderick Palmore’s 3.1 million salary or the other top executives making 700 thousand or more?

Last year the total sales of all General Mills products amounted to 3.6 billion dollars with cost of goods being 2.25 billion, leaving a gross profit of 1.4 billion dollars. Remove the cost of administrative salaries, selling and general expenses of 809.6 million and there remains a profit for share holders after taxes, interest, repairs and other expenses of 332.5 million dollars. Of that 809.6 million the top officials of General Mills earn less than 10% of that total.

According to Doug Polarski, CEO of Sawyer TMS, “Board of Directors are interested in CEO’s with credibility which gives their companies a greater profile when dealing with banks, securities and other Boards during the course of business.  The main focus of the Board of Directors are to offer a benefit package to candidates they can not turn down to get them out of the market as CEO’s worth their package are in limited supply.

Some advice to those out there on the streets upset with their wages, work toward a goal whether a start-up company or an existing one to learn enough about the business and get yourself a benefit package you will be happy with because in America anything is possible.

Is Social Security Broke?

May 13, 2011

Today the Social Security and Medicare trustees Report was released in Washington D.C at the Treasury Department.  The 6 trustees all discussed where Social Security and Medicare benefits were heading and the information is not good. We have to ask the question, “Is social security broke?

According to the report since the economic recession hit this country there is less money in the fund with more individuals receiving funds as they retire.  Charles Blahous one of the public trustees stated deficits in Social Security will continue to eradicate the funds as revenues continue to decline.  The insurance funds will exhaust  themselves by 2018 if there is no increase in taxes or cuts in benefits.

Our representatives on Capital Hill continue to say there is nothing wrong with Social Security at this time. They continue to tell the citizens there is nothing to worry about, but according to this report we need to address this problem just as we must address the national debt problem which had been swept under the rug for so many years while Congress continued to spend what they didn’t have.

Many citizens have and will rely on this fund as their only source of income upon retirement, we must not ignore the reality that the fund is broke and needs to be fixed. Billions of dollars have been paid into these funds and the citizens deserve their benefits once they do retire.

What’s Wrong With Wisconsin?

February 22, 2011

For the past few days every question we have received from the concerned public is “What’s wrong with Wisconsin”?  The concerns are towards the new Governor, Scott  Walker  wants to end collective bargaining for several government unions. They are up in arms because that is just wrong according to many of the individuals we talked with.  They deserve to be represented by unions many of the voices I heard stated.

One individual was a teacher from Nevada where we have Governor Sandoval who  is working to reduce spending within our school system across the state.  These cuts are needed according to him to balance the budget at any cost. This teacher said his pay will freeze at the level he is currently being paid for a period of three years. No raises for continuing his education up to and including his masters.

As he talked you could see he was upset with the Governor and the cuts. I told him I understand his being upset that his wages would be froze under the new bill if passed. I then stated as a private sector employee my wages have been frozen for the past three years.  I too have not received a raise for any of my hard work since they cut any and all raises because of the economic crisis we are experiencing. I asked him what is the difference between my wages being frozen or his being frozen.

He could not answer the question as he looked at me.  He struggled to find something to say that would appease me and finally after several seconds of silence he stated but he was going for his masters and that alone qualifies him for the additional salary. Now don’t get me wrong, I agree teachers should be paid more so long as they represent the wishes of the people paying their salaries, me and you not some union taking dues so they can spend them on political campaigns to elect officials that will continue to give them what they want so they can get re-elected.

In Wisconsin the Governor said he would not compromise on the issues.  The news has indicated no collective bargaining for several government unions excluding fire department and the police.  The Governor states that is misinformation as the bill doesn’t touch the collective bargaining rights of  individuals.  He also added the members would be paying 5.8% of their retirement costs up from 0%.  Along with that they will also pay 12% of health care costs up from 6% and all this is to balance the budget.

So what’s wrong with Wisconsin trying to control spending by initiating a few new programs that you will find in the private sector at almost every company one could imagine.  As a  private sector employee how much to you think they have to  pay for their benefits? Then look at retirement funds,  if they are lucky enough to have money to put into a 401K  how much does the employer match? Nothing like those in the public sector.   Do you think paying for retirement and insurance is a bad thing. If it is then maybe we as private citizens should be up in arms about the money we pay to have our benefits and retirement fund.